Jen’s Gem: Be thankful for God.
This week, it’ll be two years since I lost my Dad. Hard to believe that much time has passed. With Thanksgiving upon us, I find myself thinking of him alot, as well as my Mom, gone more than eleven years, who always made the holidays so joyful.
I’ve written often of my parents in this blog and my previous one, “Parenting For Purpose,” describing the great memories I had of them growing up and many more during my adult years. I’ve tried to pass down the lessons they taught me to my children, although some are sticking more than others. That’s ok. Just like me, the lessons will catch up with them when they have children.
My parents were my biggest cheerleaders, believing in me when I couldn’t believe in myself. While they may not have always agreed with my decisions, they supported them. All of my life, my goal was to make them proud. Perhaps I placed a bit too much emphasis on this goal, but seeing their expressions of pride when I would share an achievement of mine or my children, was worth the effort.
I wish that I could spend one hour with them this Thanksgiving to catch them up on my life. Surrounded by a slice of one of my mom’s indescribable pies and a cup of coffee, I wonder what they’d say. I wonder what words of advice they’d share or new ideas they’d have on how to solve the hiccups I’m experiencing. I wonder if they’d be proud.
The same fervor I exerted to make my parents proud of me, I have channeled into my walk with God. I want to put forth my best effort to be the kind of believer He describes in His Word and the example He provided in His Son, Jesus. I try to ascribe to the “WWJD” (What Would Jesus Do) approach before I speak or act. Some days are better than others.
However, no matter if I have a great day or fail miserably, like my parents, God is still proud of me and still loves me. He already knows I can’t possibly be exactly like His Son, who was perfection personified. Even on my best day, I fall short of that goal. But it doesn’t matter. I wake up the next day and try again. God likes “triers.” Actually, God loves “triers” – those who diligently seek Him.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV)
This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for so much. Despite my life’s challenges, I’m beyond blessed. While I may not have all of the creature comforts I would like at this time, I have so much more. I may not have my earthly father to guide me, I have my Heavenly Father with me every moment of the day and unlike my Mom and Dad, God will never leave me nor forsake me.
“Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6 MSG)
As you gather around your holiday tables, I pray that you will take a moment to speak a prayer of thanks to God for all that He has given you. Not just your health and wealth. Not just new business opportunities or job promotions. But a prayer of thanks for sending His Son, Jesus to this earth so that we can all one day gather around God’s Thanksgiving table in heaven.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV)
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26 NKJV)